Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of Persia"

4i8                 HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP
Russian main body advanced, and the Persians were
routed, leaving their artillery in the hands of the enemy.
In this battle Mohamed Mirza (afterwards Mohamed
Shah), who was in command, was actually made prisoner
by the Cossacks, but was rescued through the courage of
a Shah Savan chief.
The Battle of Ganja, 26th September, 1826.—Abbas
Mirza immediately hastened north with thirty thousand
men to repair the disaster, and was met by General
Paskievich, with an army only half as strong, on a level
plain to the east of Ganja. The Persian artillery, directed
by its English officer, caused a Russian division to retreat
and two Karadagh regiments charged. Had the entire
line advanced at this juncture the day might have been
won ; for the Russian artillery was badly served. Un-
fortunately for Persia, Abbas Mirza again behaved as he
had done at Aslanduz, and his sons received orders to
retire. These instructions discouraged the whole army,
which broke up before a shot had been fired by many of
the regiments. Abbas Mirzay who was not a coward, did
his best to rally his men, but the Asaf-u-Dola, the Vizier,
quitted the field at the first alarm and reached the Aras, a
hundred and fifty miles distant, by the following night,
The Avarice of Path All Shah.—Avarice was the ruling
passion of Path Ali Shah, and, like the last of the Caliphs,
he preferred to hoard jewels and gold rather than to expend
money on national defence. For this reason the steps
taken to collect a new army were inadequate. Moreover
his sons refused to serve under the now discredited Abbas
Mirza. The arsenal at Tabriz was found to be practically
empty, the money devoted to it having been embezzled,
and even such cannon balls as there were did not fit the
guns. An attempt was made to buy lead locally, but
very little was obtained. Meanwhile winter came on and,
owing to the Shah's refusal to furnish pay, the army was
disbanded. General Yermeloff made prompt use of re-
inforcements which reached him, and after the Astrakhan
division had driven the Shah's troops out of Derbent
her division crossed the Aras and threatened Tabriz,
! Jay at the mercy of a determined enemy.    It was,